By now we are nearing the end of the processes of selling meetings management. After following the above steps, the initial sale should be complete and you should focus your attention on getting the company to use the program and gain adoption.
If executive buy-in is the most difficult piece of implementing a meetings management program, then company adoption and change management are actually the biggest challenges and most important steps for program success. A strong communication plan, both at the initial roll out and at regular consistent interviews, is necessary. Be sure to think about all the different stakeholders and how they best receive information.
At Estée Lauder, their communication strategy centers on quarterly lunch and learn meetings. Meetings and event stakeholders are invited to regularly occurring meetings where the team presents anything new in the program along with results from the last quarter. The meetings provide stakeholders the opportunity to ask questions of the meetings management team and ensure everyone is on the same page.
An often overlooked piece of the communication plan is personal communication. Sometimes gaining program mass adoption out of the gate is not an effective strategy. You may have to work person by person or department by department to demonstrate your value.
This is what happened for Autodesk while working to get its sales and marketing organizations to source the event contracts through the meetings management department. Rather than force a policy on the divisions, the meetings management group asked the sales team to let them review one of their event venue contracts. The group was able to identify all the areas where their sourcing and negotiating expertise would have helped to reduce the total costs. When the sales department realized their missed savings opportunities, they quickly converted to using the meetings management group.